21 Kasım 2017 Salı

Tractor Pulls Gamblers to Forest Bingo

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(HaberTürk Newspaper, 16 November 2017)

Belgrad Ormanı'nda kumar çadırı basıldı
              Police haunted the bingo forest.

Gambling was banned in Turkey in 1998 and since then the vice has
gone underground, with gaming operations going in basements, fake
political party salons, remote villas, coffeehouses and residences.  The
Istanbul Police Chief Mustafa Çalışkan has focused on stamping out
'Ankara Kumarı' games of 'tombala' (like 'bingo') operations. 

Belgrad Ormanı'nda kumar çadırı basıldı
You'd have to be one committed bingo player to make this trek. 

In a recent case, police learned that a gambling operation had been set
up deep in Belgrad Forest, between Bahçeköy and Kemerburgaz in
Sarıyer district.  Police raided the 30 square-meter tent used for the
gaming operation and caught 24 people red-handed.  A tombala
machine, game cards and gambling money totaling 600 TL (about
$250) was seized.

Belgrad Ormanı'nda kumar çadırı basıldı
Picnic tables available to sit and count your winnings.

Gambling patrons left their cars at Kirazlıbent, near the Bahçeköy
entrance to Belgrad Forest and were then transported by tractor (!)
to the tent two kilometers into the forest.  The tractor's battery was
used to provide electricity to light the tent, which was situated
about 7-8 kilometers from the center of Bahçeköy.

belgrad ormanı haritası ile ilgili görsel sonucu
  Belgrad Ormanları (forests) in north Istanbul

20 Kasım 2017 Pazartesi

Science Teacher Lights Way for Kids

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(HaberTürk Newspaper, 16 November 2017)

mahmut öğretmen elektrik üretti ile ilgili görsel sonucu
Taking science out of the lab and onto the roof.

The Galatasaray Elementary School is found in Çubuklu village
in Van's Çaldıran district on Turkey's border with Iran.  Mahmut
Çakır (27) was appointed as the science teacher at the school 4
years ago as his first assignment.  Mahmut's first action was to set
up a science laboratory at the school, which was founded by the
Galatasaray University Foundation in Istanbul.

 As Mahmut began teaching, though, frequent electrical outages
plagued his efforts so he rolled up his sleeves to build a wind turbine (!).
First, he made the blades from plastic pipes and designed a tail out of
scrap iron.  Mahmut had a motor he found repaired and after 3.5
months there was a small-scale wind turbine atop the school that
now provides all the electricity the school needs.  In addition, Mahmut
has started a 'Nature Corridor' project at the school, planting 300
saplings in the 'Galatasaray Forest' he has set up with his students.

Mahmut conducted a science fair for his students at the school with
a 10,000 TL (about $3K) grant from TÜBİTAK (Turkey's science
organization) and the National Education Ministry gave him the
"Creativity in Teaching and Training Award", which Mahmut will
receive at a ceremony today.  Noting that the climate conditions of
the region are quite severe, Mahmut commented that "in these
difficult conditions my students brave the winter weather just to
spend time and take classes with their teacher." 

van haritası ile ilgili görsel sonucu

 Çaldıran district is in NE Van province on the Iranian border.

19 Kasım 2017 Pazar

Vikings Return by Sea to Istanbul

Türkçe links to original Turkish article

Father Frank shows off arm-strength after rowing 3,420 km.

(Milliyet Newspaper, 19 November 2017)

Miklagaard Viking history vis-a-vis Istanbul

Danish priest Thomas Frank (48) rowed his canoe for 63 days
along the rivers of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria,
and then into the Black Sea, to reach Istanbul.  Frank said that he
did this to show how the Vikings came to Istanbul 1,000 years ago
and to research how Christianity came to Denmark.

Frank's 3,420-kilometer journey showed, he said, that the Vikings
had come to Istanbul not in large ships, but rather in small boats
and canoes that they rowed to Istanbul.  He reached the Bosphorus,
which the Vikings called "Miklagaard", on a Friday evening with
large waves threatening to smash him against the rocks. The weather
improved on a beautiful Fall day, though, and he went down the
Bosphorus smoothly, with people on the shore waving to him.

Frank was met at a pier near the Aya Sofia Mosque by two officials
of the Danish Consulate in Istanbul.  The priest plans to return to
Istanbul with his wife in the Spring.  

viking route to istanbul ile ilgili görsel sonucu
      Before the Vikings conquered Minnesota.

18 Kasım 2017 Cumartesi

'Fake News', Islamic-style, at Istanbul Grade School

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Milliyet Newspaper, 18 November 2017)

Sınıfta batıl  yasak iddiası
Sort of reminds me of the nuns I had in grade school, sigh...

In Istanbul, 4th-grade teacher H.P. told one of her students that her
name, İrem, is a sin and it is forbidden to speak her name in class. H.P.,
who teaches at the Beykent Adem Çelik Elementary School in the
Büyükçekmece district of Istanbul, told İrem that her name means
'false heaven'.

//ed note: Redhouse gives the following meaning for İrem: "the 
mythical gardens said to have been devised by Shaddad bin Ad 
in emulation of the garden of Paradise.//
Parents of the children in the class have been commenting on the
situation on 'eksisözlük' (a social media platform in Turkey), with
one noting that H.P. has told the children that "if there is a cat or
dog in your house, angels will not enter."  and another mentioning
that H.P. said that "only a grandmother can name a child.  If someone
else names a child it's a sin." 

İrem's mother spoke to Milliyet and said that "I didn't just hear these
things from my daughter, I heard them from her friends, as well. My
daughter said to me 'Mom, the name İrem is a sin.  My friends won't
say it anymore.  My teacher calls me by my middle name Zeynep.' "

Because of H.P.'s pronouncements, Zeynep Naz Ayka has taken her
son Ege out of the school.  Ayka lamented that "you can't imagine
what it does to a child's psychology to hear such things.  My son used
to be interested in space and the planets.  Now he says 'whatever God
created he had a reason for it.'  He didn't go to school for 4 weeks
because of this teacher."

büyükçekmece haritası ile ilgili görsel sonucu
                 Not quite heaven-on-earth.

17 Kasım 2017 Cuma

Cigarette Smugglers Unwitting Anti-Smoking Advocates

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(HaberTürk Newspaper, 17 November 2017)

Sigara kaçakçıları dolandırıldılar
         Filter cigarettes, minus the cigarette part.

Istanbul anti-smuggling police put a gang that was smuggling cigarettes
to Turkey from Iraq under surveillance and learned that the gang was
bringing 12,500 cartons of cigarettes to Istanbul from Iraq.  The gang
then sold the smuggled cigarettes to another gang in Istanbul for
125,000 TL (about $35K).  Police mounted an operation and caught
the receiving smugglers red-handed.

However, when police opened the cartons they found not cigarettes but
styrofoam and newspapers, placed in the cartons to give them the
expected weight.  The smugglers were as surprised as the police to see
that the 125,000 TL they paid was for naught (!).

anti-smoking ile ilgili görsel sonucu
Hoodwinked smugglers got t-shirts as compensation.

Bodybuilder a Credit to His Sport

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Sözcü Newspaper, 17 November 2017)

Kredi çekip şampiyonaya gitti, Avrupa ikincisi oldu
    The world's most fit matador. Bulls beware!

This sportsman from Denizli is determined and successful! Mesut Ala
(26) works as a waiter during tourist season in Antalya and 5 years ago
he became interested in bodybuilding.  His efforts reached the point
where last September he placed 5th in the bodybuilding championship
in Turkey. 

Next, Ala applied to compete in the European Bodybuilding
Championship in Norway but, having no sponsor, he had to take 10,000 TL
(about $3,000) in credit from a bank in order to go to Norway for the 29
October competition. Ala placed second in Europe in the 70-kilogram
class (!). 

Ala has returned to his job as a waiter in Turkey and has started to make
the monthly payments on the credit he took out.  Ala's next target is the
World Bodybuilding Championship to be held in the USA in May 2018.
In this regard, Ala explained that "I can't take out any more credit but if
I find a sponsor I want to go to the USA and represent my country with

denizli antalya haritası ile ilgili görsel sonucu
From Denizli to Antalya and the world beyond...

16 Kasım 2017 Perşembe

Bitcoin Mugging in Istanbul

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(HaberTürk Newspaper, 16 November 2017)

türkiyenin ilk bitcoin gasp operasyonu ile ilgili görsel sonucu
Their hope for many little Bitcoins has faded into the ether...

The Istanbul police cyber crimes team conducted its first raid against
a mugging that targetted the virtual money Bitcoin. In Merter district
a 5-person gang forced a businessman into a minibus and demanded his
internet password at gunpoint.  The gang then took possession of the
businessman's 450 bitcoins, valued at 11 million TL (about $3.5 million).

The businessman later reached police and said he had been held in
the minibus for 8 hours and subjected to violence.  Detectives put the
5 suspects under technical surveillance and conducted simultaneous
raids in Esenyurt, Bağcılar and Küçükçekmece districts, arresting
Bitcoin muggers  Gökhan S., İbrahim Ö, Uğur K., Görkem S. and
Selçuk Ö.  İbrahim Ö. is a fugitive and Gökhan S. is already facing
a 30-year prison sentence on a mugging charge.

After the mugging, suspect İbrahim Ö. proposed to his girlfriend and
shared the happy moment on social media (!).

türkiyenin ilk bitcoin gasp operasyonu ile ilgili görsel sonucu
                    Is no place safe??!!